Finding a job can sometimes be like finding a date, and it’s made a touch complicated if you have disability. Will they be shocked when they find out if I don’t tell them? Will I scare them away if I tell them too much? Wondering whether you should disclose can be tough. We’ve put together four questions you can ask when you want to decide whether or not to disclose your disability to an employer. Remember, at the end of the day, it is your decision how much you do or don’t share.
How comfortable are you talking about your disability?
Just as everyone has different personality styles, every person with disability has a different level of comfort when it comes to talking about their disability.
If you’re very open and feel comfortable talking about it, then disclosing your disability might not seem like an issue for you. For example, you may already talk about it on a public platform such as social media.
However, if you’re more of a private person, then it might be a little bit more difficult for you to open up. Respecting your own personal boundaries is important, so never feel like you have to disclose anything that you don’t feel comfortable with
Is my disability obvious when people meet me?
Everyone’s disability presents itself in different ways. For some, their disability will be visible, and others will have non-visible disability such as neurodiversity or mental ill-health.
If you do have visible disability, then you may wish to disclose so that it’s not the “elephant in the room” when you meet the employer. This can give the employer the opportunity to ask questions about your accessibility preferences before you meet. It can help make sure that accessibility is considered from the start and throughout the process – for example, considering accessible interview locations.
If you have non-visible disability, your employer may never find out about your disability. However, if you want to disclose, then that is still an option for you. Maybe you see it as an important part of your identity and want others to know about it. Maybe making an employer aware will help you perform at your best.
Do I need workplace adjustments?
Everyone works in different ways and that’s ok! If your disability means you require workplace adjustments then it can be helpful to disclose to your employer. These could be things like wheelchair accessibility, assistive technology or a quiet space to work in. If an employer is aware of your accessibility requirements, they can make sure you’re set up to perform at your best. It can also empower you and your team when working in a collaborative environment. Workplace adjustments increase performance levels for people with disability and people without disability, so don’t ever feel awkward asking for them.
On the other hand, you may choose not to disclose at all, to disclose some information but not all, or to disclose at a later date. How much or little you wish to share is completely up to you – you aren’t required to answer personal questions about your disability from employers.
Is it applicable to the job I’m applying for?
Always remember that your disability has given you a unique set of skills and experiences. The job you’re applying for may be looking for these unique skills or someone with lived experience of disability. In this instance, disclosing can be an advantage.
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to disclosing your disability to your employer. If you’re ready to work for a disability-inclusive employer, start searching the Field for jobs now.
Check out some of our other blogs for some more job seeker tips: